As the winter chill sets in across the state, we have to face the fact that the Grand Canyon white water rafting season is currently on hiatus. As much as we love Arizona rafting adventures, the northern part of the state gets buried under a blanket of snow when winter comes. So what’s an outdoor explorer to do? Well, there’s plenty! Although the rafting trips are in their off-season until April, there are countless winter activities for those seeking an adventure like no other.
The Grand Canyon National park is one of the many national parks open all year. Unfortunately, the North Rim is closed for the season, but the South Rim (arguably the more popular of the two) remains open for hiking along trails sparkling with snow. Do you dare hike the entire canyon? Crossing the full length by foot is a 21-mile journey.
Tour guides can take hikers to the bottom of the canyon, where the winter conditions are fairly mild. Did you know the canyon is about 1 mile deep on average? Take a hike down to the river to see a spectacular winter wonderland. Many hikers say they would rather come to the canyon in the winter; some simply people cannot stand the summer heat!
Other winter activities in the area include snowshoeing and skiing, but nothing beats a hike through the scenic paths of the historic Grand Canyon. Explore over five million years of storied past on an unforgettable voyage along the river. There is strong evidence that the river broke through the canyon about five million years ago, but there are more historical secrets hidden in the canyon floor. The river cuts through a type of metamorphic rock called schist that is over 1.75 billion years old!
Although we can’t boast enough about how amazing it is to go white water rafting on Colorado River rapids in the summer, we have to give credit where it’s due: the Grand Canyon in the winter is an absolute-must see.